question about grab and initiating a grapple.


Rules Questions


I had a this question come up in a game and I was curious if there is clarification anywhere on it.

If you have a grab attack that works on a successful attack, but you decide to just initiate a grapple as a standard action, do you get the +4 bonus to grappling that having a grab attack affords you?

I have an Alchemist with the tentacle discovery
Tentacle:

Spoiler:
Benefit: The alchemist gains a prehensile, arm-length tentacle on his body. The tentacle is fully under his control and cannot be concealed except with magic or bulky clothing. The tentacle does not give the alchemist any extra attacks or actions per round, though he can use it to make a tentacle attack (1d4 damage for a Medium alchemist, 1d3 damage for a Small one) with the grab ability. The tentacle can manipulate or hold items as well as the alchemist’s original arms can (for example, allowing the alchemist to use one hand to wield a weapon, the tentacle to hold a potion, and the third hand to throw a bomb). Unlike an arm, the tentacle has no magic item slots.

Grab :

Spoiler:
Grab (Ex) If a creature with this special attack hits with the indicated attack (usually a claw or bite attack), it deals normal damage and attempts to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. Unless otherwise noted, grab can only be used against targets of a size equal to or smaller than the creature with this ability. If the creature can use grab on creatures of other sizes, it is noted in the creature's Special Attacks line. The creature has the option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply use the part of its body it used in the grab to hold the opponent. If it chooses to do the latter, it takes a –20 penalty on its CMB check to make and maintain the grapple, but does not gain the grappled condition itself. A successful hold does not deal any extra damage unless the creature also has the constrict special attack. If the creature does not constrict, each successful grapple check it makes during successive rounds automatically deals the damage indicated for the attack that established the hold. Otherwise, it deals constriction damage as well (the amount is given in the creature's descriptive text).

Creatures with the grab special attack receive a +4 bonus on combat maneuver checks made to start and maintain a grapple.

It seems from my reading, that just having the special attack gives you a +4 bonus on combat maneuver checks made to start and maintain a grapple. Is this correct?

If it isn't correct, once a grapple is established, can the alchemist choose to maintain with the tentacle on his next round, thus gaining the +4 to maintain?

It would make sense that even if you aren't attacking with it, you can still use the tentacle to assist with your grappling efforts, thus getting the +4. However I can also see that for balance reasons, it just might not work.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I'm inclined to agree. Simply having a Grab special attack seems to grant the +4 to initiate and maintain. The rules don't actually say "with grapples made with that weapon".

Sczarni

Looks legit to me.


I would just say that the attacker wouldnt get that bonus on the round he started the "normal" grapple. On subsequent rounds, if he wanted to use his tentacle to aid in his grappling, I would allow him to get the bonus. The reasoning here is that he specifically said he wasnt using it that first round, so thus wouldnt get the bonus.
Make sense?

AtD


Saethori wrote:
I'm inclined to agree. Simply having a Grab special attack seems to grant the +4 to initiate and maintain. The rules don't actually say "with grapples made with that weapon".

Its certainly implied tho. Mainly because most critters who get grab ONLY have the limbs they are grabbing with. Try telling a squid it stil gets that bonus even if it doesnt use its tentacles...

AtD


Ahpook The Destroyer wrote:

I would just say that the attacker wouldnt get that bonus on the round he started the "normal" grapple. On subsequent rounds, if he wanted to use his tentacle to aid in his grappling, I would allow him to get the bonus. The reasoning here is that he specifically said he wasnt using it that first round, so thus wouldnt get the bonus.

Make sense?

AtD

Just to be clear, I would not be stating I wasn't using the tentacle for the grapple. I would just not be making an attack to do damage with it. I fully assume that if I am trying to grapple someone, I am using both hands, tentacle and whatever else I can to try to succeed.


Ahpook The Destroyer wrote:

I would just say that the attacker wouldnt get that bonus on the round he started the "normal" grapple. On subsequent rounds, if he wanted to use his tentacle to aid in his grappling, I would allow him to get the bonus. The reasoning here is that he specifically said he wasnt using it that first round, so thus wouldnt get the bonus.

Make sense?

AtD

That doesn't make sense to me. The Grab Ability grants a +4 on all Grapple Checks, not just the Free Action Grapple check stemming from the Tentacle Attack.

Grab wrote:
Creatures with the grab special attack receive a +4 bonus on combat maneuver checks made to start and maintain a grapple.

Seperate paragraph, separate ability granted by Grab, and no qualifiers. It just says "+4 on combat maneuver checks made to start and mainstain a grapple."

Ahpook The Destroyer wrote:
On subsequent rounds, if he wanted to use his tentacle to aid in his grappling, I would allow him to get the bonus.

Although it's not clearly false, that makes even less to me. The Free Action Grapple Check from Grab cannot be made to to Maintain a Grapple.

Grab wrote:
If a creature with this special attack hits with the indicated attack (usually a claw or bite attack), it deals normal damage and attempts to start a grapple as a free action

"Using the tentacle to aid in his grappling" on subsequent rounds is shadier than just taking the +4 on your checks.

Interesting side note: the Amulet of Mighty Fists does not augment your Grapple Combat Maneuver Check normally, but it does enhance your Tentacle Attacks, and the Free Action Grapple Check from Grab with your Tentacle is an attack roll from your Tentacle, and it should benefit from your AoMF. It is not necessarily the case that other Grapple checks will benefit from the AoMF, even though you have a Tentacle, and you are clearly using it somehow. A GM might enforce that technicality.

Caution to the OP. Tentacles are Secondary Natural Weapons. When you Attack with them, you take a -4 to your Attack Roll and you only gain 1/2 your Strength Modifier. This is not the case if your character has no other Natural Attacks but your Alchemal Tentacle. In that case, as your sole Natural Attack, it suffer no such Attack Penalty, and you get +1.5 X your ST Mod.


My understanding is that both the +4 and -20 would apply if your just using the tentacle to grapple (ie you do not gain the grappled condition)


If your goal is to inflict the Grappled Condition without being Grappled yourself, you do suffer a -20.

But the text about the +4 makes it pretty clear that all your Grapple checks get a +4, not just +4s that come from the Grabs' Free Grapple Checks.

Grab wrote:
Creatures with the grab special attack receive a +4 bonus on combat maneuver checks made to start and maintain a grapple.

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